Why a large number of injuries will hurt foot clubs more than ever
A rebuilding club that plans to keep money can wire the $250,000 rebate instead, even if they haven’t reached the salary cap. The AFL logic behind this is not to penalize teams in this situation.
As a rule, however, the subsidy is only triggered when the upper salary limit has been exhausted.
If injury payments still exceed the rebate, the roster manager must negotiate with a player or players’ agent to move a portion of his salary into the following season’s salary cap – and continue the financial headache. Typically, the contract variant involves a footballer with a substantial fixed amount of money.
This scenario is one of the reasons backlogged contracts are so prevalent in the AFL.
The league has advocated for this process to be more robust and based on individual player injury history rather than a subjective template.
But it’s largely impossible for a club like Carlton to predict a season-ending ACL injury from Zac Williams – even with his other injuries in recent years – meaning a first-choice player will miss all 22 home and away games plus finale if the blues make it.
Star midfielder Sam Walsh will also be out for at least the first month of the season, having missed just two games total since picking No. 1 in the 2018 draft.
For example, the Blues could sign Oleg Markov as an injury replacement for Williams, and he could be paid $4,000 per game he plays. If Markov makes 12 senior games, that’s almost $50,000, which Carlton didn’t factor in in his preseason estimate.
Marquee or high-profile players typically have financial guarantees built into their contract rather than relying on match payments. An unintended consequence of this change could be that teams want more contract security instead of giving players as much incentive.
To make matters worse, clubs will once again head into the season in the dark about exactly how much the salary cap will rise, only knowing it will be by at least five per cent.
A nightmarish injury run in the current circumstances could theoretically hurt teams’ ability to recruit star players, with the likes of Darcy Parish, Jade Gresham, Ben McKay and Dylan Moore up for grabs in the 2023 free agency class.
The AFL declined to comment on the injury pay changes.
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/afl/why-a-major-injury-toll-will-hurt-afl-clubs-more-than-ever-20230206-p5ci9u.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Why a large number of injuries will hurt foot clubs more than ever